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Bernice Mills

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Bernice Mills

Nov. 1, 1932-Nov. 10, 2013

Bernice was born in the Bronx, NY, to Max and Jennie Taitz, older sister to Barbara. She grew up in a close-knit family with her cousins, grandparents and aunts and uncles nearby. Bernice enjoyed spending time with her relatives both young and old, especially her 4 grandchildren, of whom she was very proud and gave her much joy throughout their lives. 

Upon reaching adulthood, Bernice began to travel, a lifelong passion. In 1955, she vacationed in California, and 3 months later, she moved to L.A. and embarked on a new life.

Shortly after arriving in L.A. she met Fred, whom she would later marry. Fred introduced her to UCLA and football. They went to all the home games, and many games in other parts of the country.   

Their family had grown to include their children Sandy, Robert and Julie. As the kids got older, Bernice became very involved in their activities. Eventually she became PTA president at their elementary school. After that, she went on to work as a clerk at James Monroe High School.

After losing her husband prematurely in 1981, she remade herself, becoming a travel agent and traveling the world with friends and family. Bernice moved to Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2008 to be closer to her children and grandchildren, making many new friends. Although she could not attend as many UCLA football and basketball games as she had previously, she loved to join like-minded Bruin fans and support her team at the local pub. Ever since watching the movie Dumbo as a child, she collected elephants, and literally hundreds of them adorn all rooms and surfaces of her house.

She volunteered for many different organizations, including the L.A. Public Library, UCLA and various political campaigns. She was admired for her generosity of time and spirit, and her financial support of her favorite causes.

She is survived by her sister, Barbara, as well as her children Sandy, Robert, (Carol Padlipsky Mills), Julie, (Larry McSpadden), her four grandchildren, Hannah, Rikki, Leah and Alex, and many cousins, nieces and nephews across the country and in Israel. Services were held in Los Angeles. A memorial service will be held at her home in Rossmoor on Sun., Dec. 8 from 2-4. Donations may be made to: UCLA Office of Scholarships, Attn: Fred and Bernice Mills Family Memorial Scholarship Fund, 10920 Wilshire Blvd, Ste. 900, L.A., CA 90024, the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee (www.elephants.com), or .

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Nov. 24, 2013
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